Monthly Archives: April 2010

Hurricane lamps work

It’s fair to say that I shoot a bit more video than I actually produce into little films. I used to have a cut down version of Premiere, but that computer died and anyway I found it slow, tedious and sometimes it had mysterious faults. When all I had was a netbook, it just wasn’t worth messing with video at all. On the Mac, it’s nice and easy – so I’ve started to pull out a few bits of video here and there and publishing them to YouTube.

This 20 second clip was shot last summer. Although it wasn’t anyone’s birthday, Bill was obsessed with singing Happy Birthday and fire and blowing out candles. We don’t have candles much at our house (they are a fire hazard in my book), but my in-laws are keen on them. So every meal during our visit to their house in the forests of Aberdeenshire was celebrated with a rousing round of Happy Birthday and much huffing and puffing.

Even more huffing and puffing in this video – because the glass is in place. You can’t blow through glass – an important scientific lesson in the life of a child.

Whatever you do, don't write it down

The scandalous memo from the Foreign Office about the Papal visit reminds me of that old communist era ‘joke’.

Don’t think it.  If you must think it, don’t say it.  If you must say it, whatever you do, DON’T write it down.

And for goodness, sake – if you do write it down for a bit of shared giggles amongst your colleagues, don’t circulate it in a memo to senior members of staff.

Some junior schmuck at the Foreign Office wrote a memo suggesting a variety of activities for the Pope during his forthcoming visit to the UK.  Blessing a gay marriage.  Opening an abortion clinic.  Launching a papally endorsed brand of condoms.

Smirk worthy, crass and vaguely amusing in a school boy sort of way respectively.  But clearly should not have ever, ever risen above the level of 30 seconds of quick banter before actually settling down to work.   I understand how a little inappropriate humor can be a trigger for creativity at the start of a brainstorming session.  But if you must engage in that kind of silliness, leave it at that before moving on to suggest visits to Canterbury or singing children at a flagship Catholic primary school.   Someone is not nearly as funny as they think they are.

Although also on the list of the infamous memo was issuing a public apology to the people of England for the Spanish Armada*.

Which I thought was absolutely inspired.


Update: not only was the Spanish invasion of England granted papal blessing, it apparently received financial backing, too.

blowing bubbles

Bill’s friend Phoebe arrived in the playground the other day dressed as a princess. She’d come from a party and she had bubbles!

Phoebe’s older than Bill, but she’s always been very nice to him even when he was a proper baby. Now they can play together and they had a grand time playing with the bubbles and she let him hold the bubbles as we left the playground and all the way back to her house.

Bill handed the bubbles back graciously. But we could tell it was a wrench. We promised to buy Bill some bubbles, and headed down to the party store in Colliers Wood. But we arrived minutes after closing time. We checked every little store on Colliers Wood High Street, but no one had bubbles. There were some tears.

Friday morning on the way to nursery we stopped at the party store and bought some bubbles. I told him to be very, very careful with it and not spill it. He sat in his stroller and blew bubbles all the way. He didn’t spill any and held on tight as steered the stroller over kerbs and bumpity sidewalks.

When I picked him up we got out the bubbles again. I warned him to be careful, to screw on the lid (which he didn’t) as he traversed barriers and stepped in and out of the dry pool and climbed up to the slide. He didn’t spill any, but I could see it coming. I told him that he’d spill it and then he wouldn’t have any more bubble solution.

When he slid down the slide with cap only resting on the bubble bottle, I’d had enough. Even though it didn’t spill, I could see it was going to any minute. I demanded he give it to me.

He handed it over. And as he did, it slipped from my hand. I dropped it. And half the solution spilled out onto the ground.